I arrived at the Rio poker room at about 5:40 this afternoon, planning to settle in for a long session. As I approached the room, however, I noticed three strange things all at once. First, the auxilliary tables set up outside of the poker room to handle the overflow during the WSOP--which have basically sat unused since then--were all in action, with tournament chips in play. Second, there was a long line of people moving toward the back of the room. This, I figured, was people registering for the 6:00 daily freeroll tournament. (This hypothesis proved to be correct.) Third, there was a long line of people with chips in racks waiting to cash out. Something odd was definitely going on.
I approached the desk and overheard another guy trying to get seated in a cash game. He was turned away. They were closing down all of the cash tables in order to play the daily freeroll tournament.
Let me say that again: They were closing down all of their cash games in order to make room for the daily freeroll tournament.
That's right--if you're playing a cash game when it's time for the freeroll to get going, they kick you out.
This is one of the most insane poker-room management moves I've ever heard of. Perhaps they fail to grasp the fact that the poker room's revenue stream is the rake from the cash games.
I can count on one hand the number of times that I've had to leave a poker room because they were shutting down. One was the last day that the Tropicana poker room was open, and closing time came. (That was planned on my part--I had never been present for the final moment's of a poker room's existence.) Another was the one time I played at the Plaza, which has (or at least at the time had) set hours of operation, and I played up until their nightly closing time. Another was the time that the Hard Rock closed all of its cash tables for a special tournament. I think that's it.
Now, though, it appears that the Rio is kicking its customers out every day.
In my previous post when I first learned of this daily freeroll, I sort of mentioned this as one possible outcome:
For another, they run the risk of killing the cash games at that time every
night. That's pretty much my prime time, and if the cash games turn out to
routinely break up just before 6:00 p.m. on days when I haven't qualified for
the tournament, it's going to cheese me off and cause me to stop frequenting the
But what I had in mind was that the games would break up by people voluntarily leaving them to play the freeroll. It honestly never occurred to me that the poker room management would be so incredibly idiotic as to force people to stop playing the games that are the room's lifeblood!
OK, Rio, you have sent your message loud and clear. You don't want my cash-game business on any day when my session might bump up against your 5:30 p.m. deadline. On those days (and maybe others, now that you've irritated me so), I'll pick one of the other 50+ poker rooms to play in. Today I went across the street to the Palms, where they were opening cash-game tables for a Saturday evening crowd--not closing them.
What does it take to get elevated to management of the Rio poker room--failing every IQ test they put in front of you?
Morons and incompetents, every last one of them.